The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus – Erin MorgensternTitle: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Publishing Info: September 13, 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Library
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 20, 2012
Related Posts: The Night Circus, The Starless Sea

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called "Le Cirque des Reves," and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway--a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love - a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.


This book is actually really hard to review for me. It took place over such a large expanse of time and I was introduced to so many characters that I’m not really sure what exactly to say about it! I guess if the author wanted to leave the readers mistified, consider it done! I’m kind of in a circus haze and I was in awe of the magical elements of the story and I feel left just a little confused.

The Circus: I simply adored the circus. It was delightful, it was enchanting, it was mysterious and I wish I could have really experienced it. The circus is a place that appeals to all of the senses: seeing the tents, feeling the atmosphere, smelling the gentle perfumes and food wafting through the air – I really wish I could have actually been there! But I did my best to imagine it. Overall, I think I was more interested in the circus itself than the stories of the actual characters!

The Celia & Marco story: I didn’t really fall into the romance side of their story until towards the end of the book. Maybe it was hard to see them together when they were bound from the beginning, but only to remain as opponants. I really did like Celia quite a bit though! I think I didn’t really see chemistry with Marco.

The Poppet, Widget & Bailey story: I actually found this story much more enjoyable than the main one of Celia and Marco. Maybe because we start with Poppet & Widget as children and then see how they grow into adolescents – but then again, we also do that with Celia and Marco. Hmm. I think I just liked this story a lot more. It was simpler. It was less dramatic. It introduced non-magic to magic. And it seemed to have a real future.


First off, I LOVE Jim Dale. I had no idea he was the narrator until I started played the CD and gasped! I was told he also narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks? In which case, I might need to pick those up! Also, he was the narrator in Pushing Daisies.
I actually can’t say anything bad about the audio narration except for maybe that his voice didn’t work quite work for young female… But that’s to be expected!


Celia: I really liked Celia’s character! Even as a tiny 6-year-old, she always seemed like a confident and strong person. I loved how the magic was in her and it was a part of who she was. I was truly impressed by her maturity as well and I kind of feel like that carried part of the tone of the book as well.
Marco: I didn’t really have strong feelings for Marco any which way. He was okay. He had a serious place in the story, but overall I felt like his character took a backseat to Celia as far as magic goes and being Chandresh’s assistant, he didn’t seem to be a strong personality or stand up for himself. I felt like he was kind of a wimp 🙁
Poppet/Widget: I adored the Murray twins! I loved their personalities, their talents, and I really enjoyed the story line that followed them.
Bailey: I loved that Bailey was a non-magic person who seemed to end up belonging in the circus.


Quotes taken from — I couldn’t note page numbers since it was an audiobook. 

“People don’t pay much attention to anything unless you give them reason to.”

“I couldn’t tell the difference between what was real and what I wanted to be real.”


Read it!

This book really was magical! There were a couple slow spots but the audio was really great and I just loved imagining this world in all of its glory.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE NIGHT CIRCUS

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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23 thoughts on “The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

  1. Kaeley

    I loved The Night Circus, and I’m with you on the whole Poppet/Widget/Bailey vs. Celia and Marco. I loved them all, but I was particularly endeared to Bailey. Great review!

  2. Vyki

    Great review! I have heard so many good things about this book. It sounds like it is a busy kind of book with a lot of stuff going on. I may have to try to find it in audio from my library as well since I love the narration of Harry Potter. I can’t wait to see what the Circus holds, though!

  3. papierwitch

    Great review! I ordered this online a few days ago and I can’t wait for it to arrive! It seems pretty common that people don’t really get into the romance all that much, but I’m still excited to read it!

    1. Brittany

      I think I was so enamored with the circus part of it that the romance kind of took a back seat. The magic was so interesting!
      Hope you enjoy it ! 🙂

  4. Merin

    I LOVED this book. One of my favorites this year. I totally agree about the storyline with the twins and Bailey being my favorite; what I really loved was how everything wound up being interwoven with each other. I didn’t really expect that. I had a bit of trouble at first with the jumping time lines, which was my only complaint, but mostly figured things out pretty well by the end. Also, I did love the romance, but I’m a huge sucker for those, which probably also helped me give it that extra star. 🙂

    Also, I love your new header!

    1. Brittany

      Thank you!!! Too much time playing on Photoshop lol
      I agree, the jumping around got a bit confusing, but at the same time, that’s kind of what made it special! It all came together in the end 🙂

  5. Kelsey

    You changed your blog again! It looks good 🙂
    I’ve been on the fence about whether this book would be something I’d like, I think if I do read it I may go for the Audiobook instead! Thanks for this review!

    1. Brittany

      Thanks! I had too much fun with Photoshop lol. Hopefully this is the last change for a while!!
      The audio was great! I feel like depending on the narrator, it’s a good way to go if you’re on the fence!

  6. Jen O.

    Nice review! I absolutely loved the book, so one of these days, will have to make time to listen to the audiobook.

  7. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

    I just got this on my kindle, so I’m happy to hear you liked it so much! It sounds like an interesting read and I’m excited for the dynamic of the circus.
    Ooooh, Jim Dale, bet that was an interesting audio then. I don’t do audio, but I can imagine that was good!
    Lovely review and I do like your new header. 🙂

  8. Lucy

    Love your new blog header – it’s so pretty and colorful! I have this audio too and look forward to listening. I hear Jim Dale is one of the best narrator’s there is. I don’t know why I’ve been reluctant to read this book but I really should make time for it. Nice review, Brittany!

    1. Brittany

      Thanks, Lucy! I’ve had a lot of fun with Photoshop these past couple weeks haha.
      It was so great to listen to on audio! I loved listening to Jim Dale’s narration. Hope you enjoy as well!!!

  9. ocdreader/Elisa

    I should be getting this book soon – I am super excited to read it, and it sounds like I will need to read it with all the characters and things going on! I can’t follow all that on audio – even if it is awesome! Lovely review! Also, I love the new header for your blog. 🙂

    1. Brittany

      Thank you!! I’ve been having way too much fun with Photoshop haha.
      It was very enjoyable! I think I might have been able to keep better track via hardcopy though! 🙂
      Happy reading!

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